Review

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson

Les Jardins Mystiques Vol.1

Brainfeeder • 2023

Couldn’t it be any shorter? With 52 tracks, three and a half hours of playing time and more than a decade in the making, it’s Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s debut on Brainfeeder. The »Vol. 1« in the title shows that »Les Jardins Mystiques Vol. 1« is actually a triptych offering more than ten and a half hours of music. But even Vol. 1 is overwhelming— not only because of the sheer amount of material, but also because of the variety of genres compiled here: from classical to jazz and hip-hop to avant-garde. Short piano vignettes stand side-by-side with lavishly orchestrated 15-minute compositions, and short ambient mood pieces with full-blown, jazz pieces featuring full-band and saxophone solos. It comes as no surprise that Miguel Atwood-Ferguson has collaborated in the past with artists as diverse as Rihanna, Seu Jorge, Lady Gaga and Ray Charles, in addition to Flying Lotus and his Brainfeeder label family. Gaining a first comprehensive impression of his »mystical gardens« is definitely worthwhile, even if it is easy to lose your bearings. The best thing to do is just walk by some of the plants and look, listen, and smell the others more closely. Whether you take a fleeting glance, marvel at their size and shape, or study the geometry of the flowers, you will always find something fascinating in Miguel Atwood-Ferguson’s sound gardens.